A Sinking Ship? Player Ratings

February 26, 2018

Are we a sinking ship or just a side in transition which is completely out of form?

Yesterday’s trouncing hurt. I don’t agree that there was  lack of effort or fight, in my opinion (and I know it is not some of yours) it was a lack of quality. We simply got outplayed and out-thought. Both the players and the management.

Not one AA’er thought we would win, some may have hoped but none honestly believed we would leave with the Cup. What we all hoped for was that Arsenal would compete and for much of the first half we did, in fact had PEA not missed a sitter (or was it a superb tackle) we could have been even at 45 mins. What happened next was a shock. What changed? We just couldn’t get the ball, our passes when we had the ball were wayward, our attackers had no chances. Ozil and PEA were passengers. Was it AFC who got worse or City who put on a masterclass of movement and possession football?

Whatever it was, we were embarrassing for 30 minutes, especially after the second goal. We rallied towards the end but created only a single opportunity (PEA for Iwobi)

Player Ratings:

Ospina. Second time in 4 days he was beaten by a cross shot.  5

Chambers. Battled hard  5

Mustafi  Terrible for the first goal. A flaky defender who needs to find consistency  3

Koscielny. Had a decent game. My MotM   6

Bellerin.  Managed to keep Sane relatively quiet but could not get forward   5

Ramsey. Clearly unfit.  4

Wilshere. Plenty of drive and action, not enough creativity.   5

Xhaka. Poor performance. Worked hard but simply not good enough   3

Monreal/Kolasinac. Thank goodness Sterling was injured.    4

Ozil. Anonymous. 3

PEA. Tried hard but got no service. Missed our only real chance.  4

Wenger. Looks lost and must be sitting at home dazed. We got tonked and it seems as though his final season (hopefully) will be his worst.   4 (one extra for looking so smart at kick-off)

Looking at the above, I am surprised that I gave the defence higher marks, but it was not their fault there was a tidal wave of City attacks., for the most part they defended well, though Mustafi’s weakness for the first was very poor.

Still … onwards and upwards. Let’s beat them on Thursday.

wriiten by BR

 

 

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Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners

February 25, 2018

4th Wembley Final in 5 years. It is a home game and we must approach it as a though we own the ground.

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My first attendance at a League Cup Final was as a youngster and I am still scarred by the event. Don Rogers scoring in the mud as lowly Swindon beat my heroes in a David and Goliath victory. The year before I watched the highlights of Dirty Leeds in black and white – I should point out that this was 7 years after Spurs last won the League 🙂

Today: Our away form is so disastrous that if Mr Wenger sets up his team to be conservative we are bolloxed; quite frankly this Arsenal defence is not good enough to halt the City attack. So, the answer is to be on the front foot from kick-off.

Sadly, we have a history of starting games slowly, feeling our way into the match, assessing the opposition and then trying to step up a gear. I expect the same today.

We have a plethora of attacking talent, if they fire as a unit, we could be kushtie. Ozil and PEA will cause any team problems … IF.

And what of Manchester City? From top down the Northern Oilers have created a powerful organisation. The inevitable, financially driven, ascendancy took time but today MC are clearly a cut above the opposition on a season long basis, same as PSG and BM (and the Chavs , until the Russian lost interest). But on a one-off game they can be beaten, Wigan did it.

Evidence of the financial doping? Mr Weger has spent£349m in his 21 years as AC manager. Guardiola has spent £371m in his 21 months at MCFC. This sums up all we need to know about why AFC are not competeing for the title.

How can we win? A couple of sending-offs would help –  preferably Sterling and Stones. A lucky goal or two from Hector and Nacho. A few thrilling saves from Ospina and defensive meltdown by the City defence. It is possible..

My Team:

Ospina

Koscielny    Mustafi   Monreal

Bellerin  Ramsey   Xhaka   Elneny

Wilshire   Ozil

PEA

The above team has little potency and it will require a goal or two from midfield.

The Number 5.

We have lost more League/EFL/Rumbelows Finals than any other team, 5

We have only scored 5 goals on the way to the final.

There will be 5 goals in the final, let’s hope they are in our favour.

COYRRG

 


Up for the Cup?

February 24, 2018

Excited about tomorrow? I mean really excited? You know – butterflies, dreams, stomach-clenching anticipation?

I can’t speak for you but I feel none of the above. Looking forward to it? Certainly. Aquiver? No.

We are about to play a Wembley Final against a wonderful team and potential Champions. Surely this is enough to get the blood coursing?

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Why am I not exhilarated?

Could be any of the following or most probably a blend of all:-

  1. It’s not a proper Cup. Can you name who won it two seasons ago? I think MU won it last year. Apparently Spurs won it 10 years ago and even they don’t mention it as sliverware. On the other hand, it would look fine in the trophy cabinet.
  2. The continual change of name. This year it is the Carabao (ridiculous). It was the League Cup when it meant something. Littlewoods, Milk, Carling , Rumbelows, Coca Cola, Capital One, Worthington etc etc. takes some of the shine off.
  3. Wembley has lost it’s sparkle. Started with the FAC semi-finals being played there. Now it is The Miscreants home ground. The great stadium has sold it’s soul.
  4. The PL clubs play their reserves until the semi-finals which gives an indication as to how highly even Stoke value it.
  5. This is The Big One for me. The final is too early in the season. Finals are for sunny, warm days not a ball-shrivelling February Sunday afternoon. It is not May.

Come kick-off time BR will have his loins girded (writing the PM will help),  be totally involved and I guess, so will you.

written by BR


Oil Money FC losing to Wigan – Good, Bad or Irrelevant to The Arsenal?

February 20, 2018

So, the quadruple is off. What effect might that have on Sunday’s game at Wembley?

Good

Seeds of doubt sown.

Shows that anything is possible in a one-off game – even when you have only 17% possesion.

Aguero might be banned for throwing a punch at a supporter.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Delph is banned?

City look less effective without De Bruyne.

Bad

They could be after revenge against the footballing gods and take it out on us.

Mancs, spuds and chavs path to the trophy got easier.

De Bruyne will be playing.

They can’t be as bad as in last season’s semi.

Irrelevant

What happens in a different competition six days prior to a Final has no bearing whatsoever.

In a one-off game even the BFG can play in Beckenbauer fashion.

Auba will be playing.

Good, bad or not relevant to Sunday? What do you think?

Mink DeVille 

 


Will Anthony Taylor be the deciding factor in the NLD?

February 10, 2018

Given Pocchetino’s honest but appalling admission that Spurs players dive, how would previous  managers have responded? Bill Nick would have tut-tutted then stubbed out his ciggy and ordered another pint (check out his nose),  Pleat would have cruised home in despair, Harry would have congratulated Poch upon a fine coaching job. Hoddle would have re-arranged his cilice (look it up!) They have always been morally bankrupt.

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Consider Gazza: Violent wife-beating nutter. Hoddle? Diamond Lights. Lineker? Adulterer. Klinsmann? Serial diver. Sheringham? Without doubt the most scurrilous, unpleasant player of the last 30 years. Ruddock? Vicious thug. The list is very, very long.

No wonder Defoe and Bale left as soon as they could.

And what of the current bunch of swindlers and soap-dodgers? Alli? oh dear? He was a wonderful prospect before he got Spurred. Dembele? Would you leave your children on their own with him?  Kane? England Captain and cheat – which says all we need to know about the FA.  Eriksen? Already booked the removal company to take his furniture to Spain.

Still enough of them

My Team:

Cesc

Koscielny     Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey     Xhaka    Iwobi

Ozil    Miki

PEA

The early signs of the New Arsenal are very encouraging. Whilst accepting Everton were rubbish it was our new attack which made them look rubbish. Pace, power, vision and an ability to find space will bring success over the coming seasons. The portents are very positive and whilst I remain in doubt as to whether they will gel immediately I am convinced that 2019 bodes well.

We know our weaknesses. A defence that gets flaky under pressure, a midfield which loses concentration and wing backs who get too adventurous. Spurs have the team to take advantage but hopefully we will be out of sight by the time they score – and they will.

A worry:  Monreal left the pitch holding his buttocks which could indicate a hamstring injury. If it is, there is the distinct possibility that Kolasinac will start. It hurts to write that in the time he was on the pitch last weekend, his pass rate was less than 60%. Easily the worst in the team and as bad as the worst Everton player. Add to that that his appalling defending for the Everton goal and he clearly has problems.

Let us pray Nacho is fit or that Maitland-Niles (Cons) gets picked to play left back.

If AW sends the team out to start on the front foot with positivity and attacking purpose, we can win – just as we did in the home fixture. Go out half-asleep and concede early, as we have done so often this season, and trouble awaits.

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I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we need a referee who can spot the cheating (unless it is to our benefit) . Given it is the fool Anthony Taylor, the man who gave a penalty to Chelsea when Hazard dived under pressure from Hector and the chap who mild-mannered Arsene Wenger told to F**k Off at Burnley, this could be an afternoon when the referee becomes the centre of attention. Let’s hope not.

Should be an exciting afternoon

COYRRG

 

 


Wembley. Is it a Home or Away Fixture?

February 9, 2018

Stoke, Watford, Swansea, Bournemouth, Forest, WBA, West Ham, Southampton. All teams we should beat. We didn’t. What unites all of these? You’ve got it – they were all away fixtures.

Chelsea 4 times, Man City twice, Reading, Hull, Wigan, Our winning streak at Wembey.

Conclusion: We are rubbish on the road this season but have a very good record at Wembley. It’s our second home.

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Unfortunately Spurs have done very well at home this season losing only once in the PL (I think. To be honest, I have little desire to check my facts about them)

So … will Arsenal view this as a home fixture where we are almost unbeaten this season, or an away fixture where we are clearly crap? This is strange and it is difficult to understand the difference in form. Much better qualified men than me work with the team to solve this problem, team psychologists, motivation specialists, individual positive therapy gurus, inspirational speakers, Steve Bould, Ian Wright; even Tony Adams has had a go. And we still lose to the bottom team in the PL.

But, Wembley is different. It has a proper pitch, centrally heated changing rooms with hot showers. It is in North London.

How Arsenal approach the NLD tomorrow will have a huge influence upon the result. We did them at home, we can do so tomorrow – assuming someone convinces the team that this is just another home game against weak opposition, if they can’t …. we are doomed.


Wembley Beckons – player ratings for Carabao Semi part two

January 25, 2018

First half

The chavs came flying out of the blocks, high press, overloading the centre backs with Hazard, Pedro and Willian confusing the whatnots out of Koscielny and Mustafi. Thank Dennis their early goal was cancelled out by Nacho’s crazy double kiss header, else the game could have run away from us.

Our midfield was all over the place with no-one quite sure what they were supposed to be doing as the ball flashed past them.

Gradually we got a toe-hold and had the two best chances in the rest of the first half; a Granit fizzer from a free kick and Mesut’s deflected right footer just before the break.

Second half

So much better second half, even without the cones! Chelsea began to play for the away goal counting after extra time. Their rotational fouling was not penalised by the lenient Oliver. Granit must have had a nose bleed being in the chavs’ six yard box but there he was, at a ridiculous altitude at precisely the right moment; almost as if it was pre-ordained. Alexander missed a chance to put the game to bed which, being kind, was probably harder than it looked. No major scares in the last ten minutes – job done, off to Wembley.

Ratings

Ospina – Busy Doing Nothing – 2 shots on target for the chavs didn’t leave our Colombian much to do ….7

Monreal – Pinball Wizard – Magnificent commitment throughout, his goal came at exactly the right moment ….9

Mustafi –  Working in the Coal Mine – always tries hard, improved as the game went on….8

Koscielny – Leader of the Pack – seemed to be fighting his injuries even more than usual but still imperious  ….8

Bellerin – The Way You Look Tonight – quiet, didn’t do much at all ….6

Xhaka – Road to Nowhere – summed up Arsenal’s performance, chaotic but Johnny-on-the-spot ….6

Wilshere – Push It – barely got a touch in the first half, an inspiration in the second ….7

Elneny –  Nowhere to Run – covered every blade at the apex of the upside down midfield triangle ….8

Iwobi  – Back Door Man – most tackles, most misplaced passes, bizarre  ….7

Ozil – Pretty Beat Up – the man with the weave decided kicking him was the only way to lessen his impact ….7

Lacazette – So Lonely – even less support than normal with the dog-botherer gone and an extra body in midfield ….7